If anyone here is mechanically inclined, I would appreciate some technical advice. I need to strand my character by the side of the road, and I need to do it in a way that is mechanically accurate but also fits the plot. My character is an elderly driver who does not use his car often, and when he does, it is only for short trips close to his home. He never drives on freeways, but he has to make an exception due to an emergency in another state. His vehicle is a large, ancient Pontiac. I don't describe the car in much more detail than that (except to indicate that the car does not sound well-maintained), so the problem should be of a general nature (i.e., not specific to newer car technology). I'm thinking that I would like to have his radiator rupture, or some other cooling-related problem. Now, before my character takes to the road, he DOES take his car in for routine maintenance (oil change, belts, hoses, fluids). At the garage, he is told by the mechanic of a *potential* problem that *should* be fixed before he's on the road. Unfortunately, he decides NOT to get the repairs because (1) the situation he is responding to is urgent, (2) the repairs would take too long, and (3) the problem itself is not cut-and-dry--the mechanic knows it will become serious if neglected too long, but he has no sure way to know HOW long it will be before it will become serious. So my questions: 1) What is the warning sign that causes the mechanic to become concerned? 2) What is the time-consuming work that would need to be done? 3) If the problem is something other than overheating and coolant loss, how would the problem manifest itself?